Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rains bring good news for the snowpack in the high Sierras, the hi-speed rail to nowhere will end in Bakersfield, and a happy ending for a stray dog

Friday, February 15, 2019

 Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this such a special to live. Send your tips to

 * ... SNOWPACK: Do you remember just a few years ago when we thought it would never rain in
Bakersfield again? We went three straight winters with hardly a trace of rain and then this year comes and - voila - we are deluged with rainfall. At this point, the high Sierras are at 123 percent of the normal snowpack, and more is coming. Enjoy these days because this stuff doesn't happen often.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Someone just called me a pompous ass... I was so flummoxed, my monocle fell right into my shark fin soup."

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "You can a lot about a woman by her hands. For example, if they are around your throat she is probably upset."

 * ... HI-SPEED RAIL: After Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he was killing parts of the high-speed rail project, this is what it will look like at the end and billions of dollars.

 * ... GOOD FORM: Remember the black labrador mix who was abandoned near Lake Ming the other day? Well the dog has now been adopted by a couple who were looking to replace their own dog who recently died of cancer. Richard McDonald adopted the 2-year-old lab mix as a Valentine's Day gift for his wife Patty, who has been looking for a "special" dog to replace their own dog. They were told the dog's name was Anakin, but may in fact rename it. By whatever name this dog is going to have a good home. (photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian)

 * ... ANNE FRANK: If you are a history buff you are in for a treat next month when the step-sister of Anne Frank will appear at the Fox Theater for a special lecture. Eva Schloss, now 90, will discuss her relationship with the young Anne Frank before she was rounded up by the Nazis and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp where she died. This event is expected to sell out so you will want to buy your tickets soon. The talk will be particularly relevant given the anti-Semitic comments coming from freshmen in Congress and the ongoing attacks on the state of Israel.

 * ... RAISING CANE'S: We have a new fast food franchise in town, and this one comes with some serious positive reviews. Raising Cane's, which specializes in chicken strips, has opened on Coffee Road north of Rosedale Highway. In typical Bakersfield style, it is standing room only since it opened earlier this week.

 * ... MEMORIES: A full service gas station on the old Grapevine.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The California snowpack is rocking this year thanks to a wave of storms in the Sierras, Carl's Jr. hops on the plant-based meat trend, Crabfest nets some big money for St. Francis Parish School and Mexicali does a gang busters business

Monday, February 11, 2019

 Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this such a special to live. Send your tips to

 * ... PLANT BASED MEAT: If you think the move toward plant based diets is a fad, think again. Sales of plant based meat substitutes are growing at 23 percent a year and have now reached $1.5
billion in sales annually. Carl's Jr. recently introduced the Beyond Burger, a fully plant based alternative that uses beet juice to mimic meat juices, and Taco Bell is touting its meatless alternatives. The meat industry is so concerned that cattle ranchers are lobbying lawmakers across the country to define "meat" as coming from true meat sources like cattle.

 * ... MEXICALI: Have you been to the downtown Mexicali since Mexicali West closed? Suffice it to say but the place is packed, drawing customers from the now shuttered Stockdale Highway location. Some of the Mexicali West employees are now working downtown, including the ever popular waiter Jackie.

 * ... SNOWPACK: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and no where is that truer than these images of the California snowpack this year compared to last. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which is a primary water source for the state, is 123 percent of normal — an astounding number when you consider at this same time last year, it was a mere 26 percent."

 * ... CRABFEST: Monsignor Craig Harrison and the St. Francis Parish wrapped up another successful Crabfest this weekend, raising more than $200,0000 for the elementary school before a packed crowd at the fair grounds. Crabfest is always one of the grand networking events of the year, and I found myself seated with Frank and Rosemary DeMarco of Rosemary's Creamery (and their daughter Rosemary) along with state Sen. Shannon Grove, Mayor Karen Goh and Roy Charles Keenan. So many others I spotted there, including St. Francis Principal Kelli Gruszka, Adam Belter, Fran and Gregg Gunner, Lisa and Craig Edmonston, Holly Arnold, Jim and Beverly Camp, Corey and Duane Keathley, Michael Turnipseed, Assemblyman Vince Fong, Chamber president Nick Ortiz and Hispanic Chamber president Jay Tamsi, City Councilman Andrae Gonzales, Sylvia Mendez and H.A. Sala, Dr. Javier and Laurie Bustamante, Jim Cretol, Jim Scott and Robin Mangarin Scott, Annalise and Trevor Townsend, Lillian and David Brust, Paul Andre, Lauren and Jeremy Helper, Brandon Stallings and Gina and Joey Pearl. Special awards of excellence honors were given to Teresa and Shawn Shambaugh and Mary Johnson. (photo of state Sen. Shannon Grove and Rosemary's Creamery owner Frank DeMarco)

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 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "What if a politician did blackface and ended up getting murdered by a revenge-seeking Liam Neeson?"

 * ... CHANTRY: Michelle Chantry, who resigned as chief executive officer of The Bakersfield Californian, has been appointed chief operating officer of Western Valve in Bakersfield. Western Valve was established in 1991 as a valve repair and machine shop but now features an impressive 50,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing facility on five acres.

 * ... MEMORIES: And lastly, I can't get enough of these old pictures of the old clock tower. Enjoy.